It was after ten pm…. Finally there was silence in the house… it was almost dark… only the small lamp in the living room was on and sent its warm saffron colored light across the couch where my husband lay peacefully in deep sleep… I knew it wouldn’t last… so I just sat down, pulled my feet underneath my body and waited. In my thoughts I travelled back through the day and even further – through the past.
7:30 am breakfast with the children
8:00 am school with the children
12.00 pm lunchtime I decided to be with my husband (and getting pissed when watching one of his co-employees hitting on him during lunch break!)
In the afternoon I decided to walk in the park and watch people – and nature… It was a beautiful day and it reminded me how powerful my surroundings are… how powerful the Good Lord is to build something like this world… to build everything around me – and to build love…
At 5 pm it was already time to check on my children, watch over their homework and be with them for dinner which my husband had prepared…
When Rafe and I were just married we used to make fun of his cooking – but since then a lot of time had passed and he definitely had made progress. The kids liked it. (Sometimes even more than mine but I tried hard not to let this hurt me.)
For over 5 years after our fairy tale wedding I considered myself the happiest woman on earth until Rafe one day came home and broke down in my arms, crying. I was devastated, didn’t know what I had done… but it wasn’t me… My husband confessed he had an affair for 6 months. He regretted it – and that night we started talking… about what to expect, how our marriage was going – our goals, our wishes and what had gone wrong…
We even went to therapy together – and slowly it got better – we found each other again… We were going through the same crisis like so many other couples… the daily routine had killed our passion… while I took care of the house Rafe brought the money home… and: I was married to the best looking man on the Northern hemisphere… he was predestined to become the goal of female charm attack… I just hadn’t expected he’d accept one of the invitations…
When we were sure we’d stay together, it was time to make further decisions… we wanted children… As usually when Rafe had plans it didn’t take long and we got what we wanted. First we got Tamara, about 20 months later I gave birth to Kenny. We were so proud of our little family.
I loved my children more than anything else in the world!! But neither Rafe nor I had forgotten how it was for the both of us to get stuck in daily routine and take each other’s presence for granted. We kept “stealing” each other time which was only for us. And our connection kept as close as it was – and our love still grew…
Tamara and Kenny got older – and I knew I had all the luck in the world. I swore to always protect my family, no matter what would come our way! I cooked for them, I washed them, I took care of them when they were sick… it was my duty – a duty I had chosen and I enjoyed… the love of my family gave me strength and let me grow – in every possible kind of way.
That night I watched them eating when Kenny suddenly lifted his little head from his plate. His brown eyes looking right at me and he smiled a smile of such breathtaking beauty that I almost burst out in tears.
I wasn’t sure what it was that had brought this melancholy over my family that day… Somehow it was daily routine, but still it seemed to be completely different. There was sadness in the air that I couldn’t really explain.
I sensed the difference, but I didn’t know where it came from… I knew for quite some time what I had to do – and maybe what I sensed was only the confirmation of my deep inside buried knowledge. I refused to leave my family… I refused to cut the connection of love and devotion to them. But I knew one day I had to.
And so I just waited… I didn’t even really know what I waited for – but I did. I watched Rafe… he had taken the kids to bed, read a story to Kenny and talked about some metaphysical questions to Tamara.
I had smiled secretly when I heard them. She was such a sweet child, sometimes even too distanced and calm… too serious, maybe too “old” for her age… considering what she had been going through it might have been understandable. But I had wished sometimes she’d be more outgoing… screaming and laughing and running around with her friends.
I watched my children in their sleep as I did ever so often before going downstairs. I knew Rafe had cleaned the kitchen in the meantime and turned on the news. I found him on the couch – and drifting away. He worked too much – and he was so busy taking care of everything that I wasn’t the one to blame him for being tired… and so I just watched his breath – listened to his heartbeat, watched over his sleep and felt the love inside me like a burning string of fire.
While I was still trying to get myself together and fight down the strong need of leaving Rafe moved on the couch… tears released from his eyelashes and his lips whispered: “I miss you.”
I smiled one of my sad smiles while getting up and walking the few steps to the couch where I whispered into his ear: “I miss you too, my love.” This caused him to open his eyes suddenly and sit up. I knew he didn’t like that feeling like he was woken up by something he couldn’t explain…
He buried his head in his hands and sobbed.” I can’t believe you’re gone! I still can feel you! I don’t know what to do – or how to explain this! You are gone – but still here! I miss you every day – and I KNOW it can’t be you’re here – I know it – and still I can feel you.”
Of course he could… I was still here… even though I seemed to be forced to leave them – I was connected to them in a way that I didn’t want to leave them… I knew I had to do what I had done already one year ago. I had to let them go – and they had to let me go… I didn’t belong to their life anymore… I was dead.
Raani York, April 2012